Those who stand to lose are the investment class – Leacock
February 15, 2013

Those who stand to lose are the investment class – Leacock

While the New Democratic Party (NDP) is doing what it can to save the problem plagued St Vincent Building and Loan Association, it is also important that the Party saves itself.{{more}}

Vice President of the opposition NDP St Claire Leacock, made the point during press conference of his party on Monday.

According to Leacock, this was the second time in two years that a domestic financial institution was having problems.

“In the case of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) the problem was small people saving and risk to lose their shirt,” Leacock said.

He said that over 5,000 people could have lost their investments at the NCB, if the financial institution had gone under.

“We took a moral high route, a principled approach and some may argue that we lost the election because we put St Vincent before the NDP.”

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has repeatedly said that in 2010, had he made public the information he had about the financial health of the NCB, it would have caused a run on the institution. He said when he perused the accounts held at the bank, most of them belonged to poor people, with deposits of less than $5,000.

The NDP has also claimed that had they not remained quiet about what they knew about the NCB, it is likely that they would have won the elections of 2010. They lost that election seven seats to the Unity Labour Party’s eight.

Leacock, however, is of the view that this time, those who stand to lose at the Building and Loan Association are not “small people”.

“On this occasion it’s not those who saving, it is those who are the investors — the investment class of the country who are now at risk,” he said at Monday’s press conference.

Leacock made the comments while responding to a question posed by a journalist about why had the NDP not come forward with a statement about the Building and Loan Association sooner.

The opposition parliamentarian responded that it was not the NDP to come forward and that the political party has spoken on the way forward for defunct financial institutions.

“It happened with BAICO, CLICO the former NCB and now it happened again with the BLA and I’m sure it is going to happen with other institutions,” Leacock said.

He further contended that the party was not a government in waiting, but functioned as a government.

According to Leacock, the current BLA problem had the potential to have a negative effect on the economy, particularly if nothing was done to make sure that future investors have not lost their confidence in the local economy.

He reasoned that if this happened, the investors would look to go abroad and put their money there, leaving the Vincentian economy to further dwindle. This, he said, could cause the economy to collapse.

But he said that the NDP continues to do all that it could.

“And we will continue to do it, but we are a political party and in the same breath we must save the Building and Loan Association, we also have to save thyself, save the New Democratic Party,” Leacock said.